Saturday, January 01, 2011

Imagination and Emancipation

Among other things I am currently reading John Lewis Gaddis The Cold War: A Short History (NY: Penguin, 2005). He notes that both Pope John Paul II and Ronald Reagan had been actors and that their ability to imagine and dramatize an alternative to the status quo helped lead to the end of the Cold War (pp. 192-197). This is close to an idea I have been mulling over for a while. But, one which is certainly not new with me. I have become convinced that the most important step in the successful construction of civil society is for citizens to view themselves as free men responsible for their own future. Unfortunately, I do not think that this emancipation from mental slavery has yet occurred in much of the former Soviet Union. In fact I believe it is actually historically too late for a number of former republics of the USSR to ever develop this mind set. The struggle for liberation has to come before actual independence not decades later.

1 comment:

Kristina said...

Interesting thought in this post. I watched a long movie about the Polish pope that showed he had been an actor in his youth. Very good movie. Of course, I'm a Reagan fan too. I'll talk to my hubby about this. Read several books by Gaddis, interesting enough.